In a new interview with Inside the Ropes, Jericho talked about how important his Wrestle Kingdom 12 match with Kenny Omega was, saying it might have been the most important match of his career. Jericho goes on to discuss his philosophy in having a match and what the most important aspect of a match is. He also gives his thoughts on how the match was supposed to go and what made it work. Here are some highlights, with transcription courtesy of Wrestlinginc.com:
On His Reaction To People’s Pre-Match Thoughts
“I was laughing to myself when we were getting ready for the match and people were like ‘Jericho, can’t keep up with Kenny Omega. How’s he going to do the New Japan style?’ What’s the New Japan style? Good wrestling is the style. I don’t have to keep up with anybody. I’m Chris Jericho, I dictate the pace of the match as does Kenny Omega. He’s not a f—— luchador in his first match, he knows how to work, timing, and all that sort of s—.”
On What He Wanted From The Match
“I’m not going to take a dragon suplex off the top rope, that doesn’t make it a good match. That makes it risky and stupid. You don’t need that s—. I wanted a good story, I wanted to come out of the gate, I didn’t want any rest holds. I wanted a high spot in the beginning and work this storyline. We went 35 minutes, I didn’t know how long it was going to go and when it was done, I was like, ‘That was really, really good.'”
And On Why The Match Was So Important
“When I see all the results, ‘five star match,’ ‘match of the night,’ ‘match of the year’ candidate. Hey, everybody likes to hear that, I like to hear it. More importantly, it made me laugh at the people who didn’t think I could keep up, but I’m also a 27 year vet of the wrestling business and a disciple of Vince McMahon. And what’s the most important part of a match?
“Okay, five stars is great, did it make money? And the answer to that is f— yes, a s— ton of money. Through an extra 15,000 people buying tickets for the [Tokyo] Dome, through a 250% increase on the New Japan World subscriptions. That’s all money and specifically because of Jericho’s involvement with the company, which means more money for me, which is what the business is all about. … [It] made millions of dollars, that might be the most important match I’ve ever had at 47 years old.”
You can see the interview here.
Opinion: I could listen to this man speak for hours. There’s a logic to what he says here and it all makes such perfect sense. Jericho did make a lot of money for both New Japan and himself and that’s exactly why he was brought in. Yeah it was great that the match rocked, but the shock and feeling of Jericho appearing to announce that the match was coming up was worth more than any number of stars. Just the idea that Jericho was coming back to New Japan was incredible and that “I need to see this” mentality is the kind of thing that makes money in wrestling.
Do you agree with Jericho? What is your favorite Jericho match? Let us know in the comments below.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 27 wrestling books. His latest book is the NXT: The Full Sail Years Volume III: From Dallas To New Orleans.
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